This month marks the fourth October in a row that scientists from across Iowa have penned an Iowa Climate Statement, a brief overview of climate change and its impacts to our state. Since I teach at the University of Iowa as well as work here as an environmental researcher, I am one of the 180 signers of the statement. The theme of this year’s statement was public health.
Health effects of climate change include:
- The consequences of heavy rainfall — increased exposure to toxic chemicals and raw sewage mobilized and spread by flood waters and mold growing in flooded buildings.
- Warmer temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels cause plants to produce not only more pollen, but also pollen with a higher allergen content.
- New species of mosquitos and ticks in Iowa capable of transmitting diseases have arrived and blue green algae capable of producing toxins has become a bigger problem.
These and other climate-related health effects are documented in the statement.
A free seminar by several Iowa authors of the statement will take place on Friday, October 31, 2014, from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the state Hygienic Laboratory in Coralville.
As the Iowa Climate Statement 2014 states, action is required:
“ Adopting strong climate‐change policies will play a vital role in diminishing human suffering and illness now and for generations to come.”
Posted by David Osterberg, co-founder of the Iowa Policy Project. Osterberg is a professor of environmental health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. firstname.lastname@example.org